NFL Draft 2012: Tyler Eifert Returning To Notre Dame, According To Report

Junior tight end Tyler Eifert will forgo the 2012 NFL Draft and return to Notre Dame for his senior year. He was a finalist for the 2011 Mackey Award after catching 63 passes this season.

Tyler Eifert will forgo the 2012 NFL Draft and return for his senior season with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a source told the Chicago Tribune. Eifert would have been considered one of the top tight end prospects in the draft, after catching 63 passes for 803 yards and five touchdowns last season.

The return of the 6-6 tight end will give the Irish a much-needed passing target for next season, with Michael Floyd graduating and garnering first-round hype. Who will be throwing passes to Eifert is somewhat unclear after after Andrew Hendrix had to take over for the struggling Tommy Rees twice in games late in the season.

Despite the uncertainty at signal caller, Eifert may have been swayed in a meeting with offensive coordinator Chuck Martin on Thursday night. He should be considered a favorite for the 2012 Mackey Award given annually to the top tight end in college football after losing out to Dwayne Allen of Clemson this season.

For more on Eifert and the Irish, check out the SB Nation blog One Foot Down. Head over to our 2012 NFL Draft hub for more news and analysis on this year's prospects.

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